The Future. According to a new country-wide poll, COVID — or, at least, the all-consuming COVID epidemic — may be in the rearview mirror. A majority of Americans are now comfortable in public the way they were in 2019. It could be that people are just tired after three years of being on edge, but it may be more likely that the slowing rate of infections, the efficacy of vaccines, and a handful of virus-fighting medications have finally let us catch our breath.
Is COVID officially over?
- The Axios-Ipsos American Health Index found that 62% of people think the pandemic is over — up from 46% in February.
- 56% say they no longer mask in public anymore, and less than a quarter of Americans think COVID is a “large or moderate risk to their health.
- COVID is now seen in the same light as reckless driving or smoking and alcohol abuse — what Axios dubs as “commonplace risks.”
And it’s not hard to see those mindsets in action. Attendance at everywhere from gyms to movie theaters to restaurants is surging back to pre-pandemic levels. Heck, COVID is likely the last thing on anyone’s mind at a Taylor Swift concert.
That doesn’t mean COVID is gone for good, but infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are way down… so it looks like we can leave the word “epidemic” in the past.